If you follow along with us on social media, you know that we’re extremely dedicated to reviewing and sharing the latest immigration news that affects you, and we have some news on a DACA ruling from a federal judge, U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen. This court ruling is one you definitely want to pay attention to, especially if you’re undocumented and are seeking protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy.
Let’s take a look at what DACA is, who is eligible, and how this recent decision in Texas will affect the ways immigrants pursue an adjustment of status and pathway to citizenship.
What is DACA?
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a policy in which certain people who entered the U.S. as children and meet various guidelines may request consideration of deferred action from the government for a period of two years, which is then subject to renewal. People covered under this policy (referred to as dreamers) are also eligible for work authorization, which helps to further solidify a successful future in the U.S.
The DACA program has seen various changes and challenges from President Trump and the Trump Administration. It has gone through review in a court’s decision since its inception under President Obama. This most recent July 2021 ruling will not affect current DACA recipients or applicants, but it most definitely interests future dreamers in their pathway to citizenship.
Let’s review this latest ruling on a very popular immigration program for undocumented persons brought to the U.S. as a child.
July 2021 Decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program
As mentioned, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that the DACA policy “is illegal.” The Court granted summary judgment on plaintiffs’ Administrative Procedure Act (APA) claims; vacated June 15, 2012, DACA memorandum issued by former Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano; remanded the memorandum to DHS for further consideration; and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the government’s continued administration of DACA and the reimplementation of DACA without compliance with the APA.
What does Judge Andrew Hanen’s DACA judgment mean in plain terms?
Unfortunately, and hopefully only temporarily, the Department of Homeland Security is prohibited from granting initial DACA requests and accompanying requests for employment authorization. Initial request means it is your very first request for protection and resources from the DACA program.
Judge Andrew Hanen may have ruled on this issue, but it is not a permanent ban on DACA. It’s not foolish to get your hopes up on the federal court decision, as there could be (highly likely) an appeal.
DACA program hopefuls should still work with their immigration attorney to search for and compile the necessary documents to apply for this program’s protection. The Department of Homeland Security will continue to accept the filing of both initial and renewal DACA requests, as well as accompanying requests for employment authorization.
The caveat is that DHS will not be from granting new DACA requests.
What is going to happen to people who have been protected by DACA up until now?
If you already had DACA and you were in the process of renewing it every two years, you can keep submitting renewal requests for continued future protection.
While we wait for an appeal on the law surrounding this program to change or for the Biden Administration to take action, we encourage immigrants seeking adjustment of status or permanent residency to reach out to one of our trusted and practiced immigration attorneys at Peek & Toland. We understand the processes of applications and are passionate about helping undocumented persons secure their future.
Continue to follow along with us on social media as we continue to break down the latest legal decisions and rulings that affect dreamers and all who come to the United States in search of resources and happiness.